- Casey’s General Stores is “confident” it will achieve the goal it set at the beginning of the year to open 80 new locations by the end of its fiscal year, President and CEO Darren Rebelez said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call Wednesday.
- About 40 of the stores will be new builds, while the remaining half will come from acquisitions Casey’s has in the pipeline, Rebelez said during the call.
- If Casey’s opens all 80 locations, it will bring its total store count to 2,502 by sometime next summer — a feat only accomplished by 7-Eleven and Circle K in the United States.
As of Oct. 31, Casey’s had 2,463 stores in its network, according to its earnings report, meaning it has opened at least half of the 80 locations it aimed to debut by the end of its fiscal 2023, which will hit next summer. Most of Casey’s new stores opened in the latter part of the year, as supply-chain challenges got the company off to “a slow start” at the beginning of the year, Rebelez said.
With less than 40 stores to go to reach 2,500, Rebelez said Casey’s “should comfortably” reach the 80 locations, with acquisitions “in advanced stages” that Casey’s “isn’t prepared to talk about” at the moment.
“On the acquisition side, we’ve got a number of deals under agreement, and need to get them to close,” he said.
Inside its stores, same-store sales and gross profits increased 7.9% and 8.9%, respectively, compared to the same period last year, according to Casey’s earnings report.
Much of Casey’s productivity seen inside its stores was a result of the company’s “concerted effort” to attack its operating expenses, Rebelez said. Specifically, Casey’s focused on employee engagement and simplifying store processes with the goal of reducing turnover.
“We found some ways of making the job of running our stores a little simpler, and at the same time, focused on things employees said they wanted to see from us,” he said.
As a result, Casey’s has seen “sequential improvement” in employee turnover every month this year as overtime and training hours have reduced, Rebelez said.
“We think it’s really sustainable,” he said.
Casey’s also updated its outlook for fiscal 2023. It now expects same-store sales to be between 5-7%, up from a previous range of 4-6%. It also expects its operating expense increase to fall on the low end of the 9-10% target it has previously outlined.